Baby Boomers tough it out in retirement

The GFC has hit Baby Boomers hard – particularly if they are older single women in poor health and on lower incomes.


New research out today (Ageing Baby Boomers in Australia: Understanding the effects of the global financial crisis) has shown such people are among the worst off among the 5.5 million people born between 1946 and 1965, with many of the eldest already retired.


Baby Boomers expectations were surveyed by the lobby group for the over 50s, National Seniors Australia, through its Productive Ageing Centre.


The researchers found the 40% of survey participants rated themselves as “worse off” after the onset of the GFC in late 2007, despite Australia weathering the financial storm better than most other countries.


Of those living alone, a total of 45% of women reported being negatively affected by the GFC, compared to 38% of men.


Socio-economic status, health and age also played a big part in Boomers’ financial security.


Around half those still working said they had been affected by the GFC and would delay their retirement, compared with 27% who rated themselves financially secure.


But those who were already retired whose health did not permit a return to work, had no choice but to cut spending and wait until economic conditions improved, along with their incomes.


The National Seniors’ chief executive Michael O’Neill said Baby Boomers were a resilient group who should be encouraged to keep working and stay healthy and active.


“Baby Boomers applying for jobs are disadvantaged by ageism and negative attitudes still held by many employers,” O’Neill said.


“It’s in the interests of governments and the Boomers themselves to have policies in place that counter these attitudes, along with transparent investment options and reliable advice that will allow them to better cope with any future financial crises.”


5 March 2012.